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Posts tagged “ConocoPhillips”

By Robert Rapier on May 14, 2013 with 2 responses

Who Wins from Rising Natural Gas Prices?

Over the past two years the spot price of natural gas fell from nearly $5 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in June 2011 to less than $2 per MMBtu in April 2012, before beginning a steady climb back to the current level of about $4 per MMBtu. Prices have been supported by resilient demand as well as diminishing supply from some of the more mature shale formations and the depleted wells offshore.

Stronger natural gas prices are good news for some and bad news for others. Natural gas producers like Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) were hit especially hard as gas prices fell. Between June 2011 and April 2012, CHK’s share price declined 25 percent. But over the past 12 months, CHK has rallied 36 percent as gas prices recovered. Since Chesapeake is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas, it’s not surprising that its shares track the price of the commodity. The company isn’t diversified, so it is nearly a pure play on natural gas.

(Related: Short-Term Trend in U.S. Natural Gas Prices Point Higher)

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By Robert Rapier on Oct 17, 2011 with 18 responses

Why I Didn’t Short KiOR

In a recent column on the metric of “success” in Cleantech, I wrote that the measure of success that will matter to most people is whether the company sells energy at an affordable price: I simply don’t think that the fact that one can talk up a company and then IPO it at a profit is the proper metric for success. Some of those companies that have been IPO’d are grossly overvalued. Many of them won’t be around for long. (In fact, I wrestled hard this week with a decision to short one of them; I ultimately decided not to — but not because I don’t think the company is grossly overvalued). So is a company that is IPO’d, makes… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 4, 2010 with no responses

The Wheels Come Off the Biodiesel Wagon

Domestic Biodiesel Production Plummets One of my Top 10 Energy Stories of 2009 involved the actions taken by the EU against U.S. biodiesel producers. U.S. tax dollars had been generously subsidizing biodiesel that was being exported out of the U.S. European producers couldn’t compete against the subsidized imports, so the EU effectively cut off the imports by imposing five-year tariffs on U.S. biodiesel. This was a big blow to U.S. biodiesel producers, and was one of the factors leading to a disastrous 2009 for U.S. biodiesel production. How disastrous was 2009? Per the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), here are the statistics from the past 6 years of biodiesel production: 2004: 25 million gallons 2005: 75 million gallons 2006: 250 million… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 5, 2009 with no responses

Energy Potpourri

I am at the 2009 Gasification Technologies Conference this week, with a pretty full schedule. But there are three stories that I wanted to quickly hit. One is a follow-up on the previous cellulosic ethanol post, one is about Paul Sankey’s new report on peak demand, and the last is on a technology that ExxonMobil has reported on here at the conference that I felt was quite interesting. There will probably be no more new posts from me until the weekend. I only got away with this one because I decided to write instead of network (which I hate to do anyway) during free periods today.When Technologies Are Mandated I don’t care too much for mandates. I think they are… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 3, 2009 with no responses

Bloggers Go to Billings

I should have Part 2 of the series of answering readers’ questions posted by tomorrow, but until then I was just sent the following link, which was of great personal interest to me: A Green Refinery? The gist is that last year the American Petroleum Institute flew a group of bloggers up to the ConocoPhillips refinery in Billings, Montana where I used to work to give them a perspective of life in a refinery. A video diary of the trip was recently posted to the link above. An excerpt from the link: The refinery has twice been awarded EnergyStar designation by the EPA for its comparatively efficient production processes. It also established a Citizen’s Advisory Council to maintain an open… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 16, 2009 with no responses

Mulva on Replacing Oil

My former CEO Jim Mulva spoke today at the National Summit in Detroit, and had some newsworthy comments. Bloomberg reported on his talk: Conoco Chief Says Replacing Oil May Take a Century June 16 (Bloomberg) — ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it may take a century for the nation to replace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources. I don’t know of too many people who think we have a century’s worth of oil left. Natural gas and coal? I also seriously doubt we have that much of either of those, especially allowing for economic growth. What I think this means – in any case – is that we have some potentially difficult times in front of us. However,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 16, 2009 with no responses

Venezuela’s Slide Continues

At this point, you have to wonder who in their right mind will ever do business in Venezuela again as long as Chavez is in power. The risk that Chavez will steal your property is simply too great. During his administration, Chavez has seized phone companies, electric utilities, private real estate (just this week he ordered seizure of a private shopping mall), oil field investments, mines, steel plants, food processing plants, farms, (shades of Mugabe) and cement plants – to name a few. Now this week he has stolen the assets of oil field services companies: Venezuela Seen Paying Price for Chavez Expropriation of Oil Contractors In the wake of the seizure of foreign and domestic oil service companies and… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 14, 2009 with no responses

Congress Kills a Biofuel Project

If we are to seriously encourage a move to biofuels, incentives are going to be required because the economics of biofuels just can’t compete with petroleum (regardless of what Vinod Khosla thinks). Eventually depletion will cause petroleum to become very expensive, and then the economics of certain biofuels (especially those with the best energy returns) are going to start looking a lot better. But if depletion occurs quickly, we are going to wish that we had provided encouragement for all sorts of alternatives. Of course not all alternatives are created equally, and there are often unintended consequences to deal with. But overall, Congress and now two administrations in a row have shown overwhelming support for incentivizing biofuel production. There is,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 13, 2009 with no responses

The 2009 EIA Energy Conference: Day 2

Energy and the Media This was the panel I had been asked to participate in. My fellow panelists were Steven Mufson (one of my favorite mainstream energy reporters), from the Washington Post; Eric Pooley from Harvard, (the former managing editor of Fortune); and Barbara Hagenbaugh from USA Today. The panel was moderated by John Anderson of Resources for the Future. I can only imagine that a number of people looked at the lineup, looked at my inclusion, and thought “What’s that guy doing up there?” So here’s the background on that. When I was working at the ConocoPhillips Refinery in Billings, Montana, we followed the weekly release of the EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report very closely. We included this information… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 8, 2009 with no responses

Fortune Says Oil Stocks are a Bargain

I certainly can’t disagree with this: Betting on big oil’s comeback The article first argues that oil prices are unlikely to stay low for too long: “Right now, the upsides in the oil sector far exceed the downside risks,” says Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. “I am absolutely convinced that oil prices will rise.” After last year’s $100 free-fall rocked expectations, that kind of confidence is surprising. But Gheit is not alone; a strong consensus is growing for a price rebound. While crude isn’t likely to rocket back to the sky-high levels of 2008, even bearish analysts admit that oil can’t stay below $50 for long. Those are of course my sentiments as well. I believe that… Continue»